Wednesday, 13 February 2019 07:24

Jehan Numa Palace is a tale of Regal splendour and modernity

The Jehan Numa Palace is as luxurious as they come. We were invited for a staycation at the royal heritage hotel that is situated in the middle of the historical city Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. It wasn't an offer we were about to refuse especially since the history that comes with the beautiful property is just as beautiful. The easy flight is less than an hour and a half from Delhi and we were there before we could finish munching the flight snacks they served us. But before we tell you about the interesting property here's a small introduction to the city that has actually seen women ruling the state when they were still supposed to be behind the purdah. The Nawab Begums of Bhopal who ruled between 1819 and 1926, each succeeded by her daughter, were dynamic and charismatic women. Their personalities, vision, preferences, beliefs and action highlighted, and in some ways redefined Bhopali tradition with its combined Muslim and Maratha heritage. A cosmopolitan culture took root under the peaceful rule of the Begums.The Nawab Begums played polo, commanded the army, were excellent swordsmen and well-versed with administration and revenue systems.

Every one you meet in the city will gladly talk to you about the history and the evolved culture of this beautiful city with admiration and respect. There is a story behind every corner, every dish cooked and every art and picture that you will see hung on the corridors of Jehan Numa Palace.

On the anvil for us were a visit to their two other properties The Jehan Numa Retreat and the Jehan Numa Jungle Lodge. Both these properties were an amazing experience about which I shall be writing in www.weddingfables.com fyi, that is our other baby and do check it out. Both these properties were just perfect for honeymoon and a quiet getaway for couples looking for romance or safari adventure.

Coming back to Jehan Numa Palace it was built in 1890 during the rule of Nawab Sultan Jehan Begum, and named after her, by her second son General Obaidullah Khan, Commander-in-Chief of the erstwhile Bhopal state Force. After many changes and renovations decades later, Nadir and Yawar Rashid, the grandsons of General Obaidullah Khan, and the owners of the Palace converted it into a world-class heritage hotel.

The rooms we stayed in were luxurious needless to say. During our overnight stay we chose to eat at the fully packed La Kuchina Italian restaurant. The palace has options of multi cuisine restaurant Shanama, Under the Mango Tree for grills and barbeque, the beautiful and popular The Cafechino  where you can sip coffee and see the green beauty and the heritage mix in a stunning blend and Shergar Bar among others. If you love the Nawabi cuisine, the juicy kebabs and the biryani make sure you visit the Shanama to get the real taste of Bhopali food.  Next morning we woke up to horses trotting right under our window which was an amazing sight. Later we were told the horses, part of the palace's heritage, were being given their morning exercise on the beautiful pathway within the palace meant specially for them. This was told to us by the dashing young General Manager Gaurav Rege seen below with his cute daugher who gave us the history over breakfast.

If you are in Bhopal you can't miss seeing the Sanchi Stupa which is one of the oldest stone structure in India built by King Ashoka. This was his wife Devi's birthplace and he got married to here. It is beautiful and there is a museam that's a must see. It gives you an amazing insight into the life, culture and history of the region. Nearby to the Palace is also the Tribal museam that is interesting. The Palace also organises the trip to the Bhimbetka caves that gives a rare insight into inhabitants who lived around the 750 rock shelters scattered around a hill top. While the stay in the palace itself is interesting with so many stories to hear and the well manicured gardens around the swimming pool make it such a pleasant visuals especially during the evenings as you enjoy your evening beverage, try not to be too tempted to just be in the palace. There is so much to see and soak in and the Palace staff is always ready to help you with a perfect schedule.

By Arati Thapa

The Jehan Numa Palace

The well designed rooms

Make sure you get up early to see the horses being given their daily exercise, it's really a beautiful sight

 This was our view from the room

 Food in such beautiful surroundings is always such a good idea

General Manager Gaurav Rege with daughter Tia

The ruins around the Sanchi Stupa

Nice to know that you crossed Tropic of Cancer in one step

 

 Inside the Sanchi Stupa

 

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